Headline Health, Nov. 12, 2021
‘Raw’ data on Pa. deaths from pneumonia, influenza is off-limits to news media a state court says
[This article appeared in Headline Health, which appears to be a neutral site, although it banned me recently after complaints from belligerent name-callers.
Could the court order referred to below be due to an effort to hide the fact that Covid deaths are in fact flu deaths? This is a legitimate question because even the CDC admits Covid deaths were over-inflated.
There is also the issue of PCR tests being faulty by not being able to distinguish between Covid-19 and the flu.]
The Pennsylvania Department of Health doesn’t have to give a news media group its “raw” data on deaths from influenza and pneumonia in the state for 2019 and 2020, a Commonwealth Court panel ruled Tuesday.
That decision, outlined in an opinion by Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer, upholds a ruling the state Office of Open Records issued regarding the information request by Pittsburgh-based PublicSource.
Jubelirer agreed with the OOR that the data being sought is not yet in a form subject to public release under the state’s Right to Know Law.
PublicSource filed its request last year, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It sought records for deaths in Pennsylvania from influenza and pneumonia by county from 2014 through May 21.
CDC seems to tacitly admit PCR tests can’t differentiate between COVID and the flu; could this be why flu virus deaths decreased by 99% in 2020?
by Tom Pappert, National File, July 25, 2021.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) appears to have tacitly admitted that the near-universally used PCR tests may not be able to differentiate between COVID-19 and common influenza viruses, and is requesting that clinics adopt new COVID-19 tests that are able to differentiate between the flu and the China-originated virus.
In a new announcement, the CDC declared that it will withdraw its emergency use application for the controversial PCR tests on December 31, 2021, and is urging clinics and hospitals around the country to immediately begin the process of using new tools better able to “facilitate detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses” because “Such assays can facilitate continued testing for both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 and can save both time and resources as we head into influenza season.” [influenza = the flu]
Many skeptics have noted that, with the emergence of COVID-19, flu cases diminished at a level that strains credulity. While the CDC estimated that between 24,000 and 62,000 died of “influenza-related illnesses” in 2019, the number shrunk by nearly 99% in 2020, to a modest 646 deaths. Many have pointed to the overuse of the PCR tests, which are designed to detect incredibly small amounts of viruses, for this massive change.
Experts Confirm COVID Deaths Massively Inflated, Actual Numbers Dramatically Lower Than Official Count
by C. Douglas Golden, Western Journal, July 8, 2021.
Imagine if someone had said these words in October: “In the midst of everything COVID, people were sort of putting down that cause of death as COVID … It is important to go back and do this accounting to see if COVID was actually the cause of death.”
It would have taken five minutes for Snopes and PolitiFact to cancel this person entirely. They would have been branded a conspiracy theorist, a blackguard, a scoundrel. If they had any platform, it would be taken away posthaste. You could even make a case there would be Facebook and Twitter censorship involved — this being COVID-19 misinformation, after all.
But those words were spoken Friday [July 2nd, 2021] by University of California San Francisco professor of medicine Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert. She was speaking to San Francisco’s KPIX-TV regarding the announcement that Santa Clara County, California, had revised its official COVID-19 death toll downward by 22 percent.
According to KPIX, the announcement was made after the county “refined its approach in reporting the data.” Before refining its approach, the county had recorded 2,201 COVID deaths. Now, that’s been reduced to 1,696. “It is important to go back and do this accounting to see if COVID was actually the cause of death,” Gandhi said, according to KPIX . . .
Santa Clara County wasn’t the only county in California to reassess its data, either. According to KGO-TV, Alameda County revised its numbers downward in early June, saying it had an over-count of COVID deaths greater than 400 individuals.
On June 4, the number of deaths in the Bay Area county attributed to COVID-19 dropped from 1,634 to 1,223. Alameda County, home to Oakland and Berkeley, is the seventh-largest in the state in terms of population with 1,656,754 residents.
“According to the Health Department, the 25% decrease was made to comply with the state’s definition of a COVID-19 death, which requires COVID-19 to be a direct or contributing factor or a situation in which it can’t be ruled out,” KGO reported.
“Alameda County previously included any person who died while infected with the virus in the total COVID-19 deaths for the County,” wrote Neetu Balram with the Alameda County Health Department in a news release dated June 4.
By way of example, Balram wrote: “Using the older definition of COVID-19 deaths, a resident who had COVID-19 but died due to another cause, like a car accident, this person would be included in the total number of reported COVID-19 deaths for Alameda County. Under the updated definition of COVID-19 deaths, this person would not be included in the total because COVID-19 was not a contributing factor in the death.”
At the time, another doctor at the University of California San Francisco, epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford, told KGO he was “betting it’s very specific to Alameda County, which had a lot of cases early on and had to do a lot of on-the-fly definitions and systems and now they are being brought into alignment.”
Gandhi apparently didn’t think that was the case after Santa Clara reported its revised total. KPIX reported that “Gandhi believes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may soon ask all counties to do the same as Alameda and Santa Clara Counties and that the nation could also see a drop in its COVID-19 death toll.”
This is what voices — mostly conservative voices — have been saying for over a year. Even raising the issue, however, got one branded as a conspiracy theorist.
Take the state of Washington. In May 2020, during a media briefing, Dr. Katie Hutchinson of the Washington State Department of Health announced that some people who obviously hadn’t died of COVID were being included in the state’s death totals.
“We currently do have some deaths that are being reported that are clearly from other causes,” Hutchinson said. “We have about five deaths — less than five deaths — that we know of that are related to obvious other causes. In this case, they are from gunshot wounds.”
If there were five deaths that they could identify as just being from gunshot wounds — out of 1,078 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the state at the time — that still doesn’t speak well of the state’s reporting mechanisms.
That means, as the conservative think tank Freedom Foundation pointed out at the time, there were likely individuals who died of other causes more anodyne than a gunshot wound who were being counted among COVID deaths.
Yet, Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee blasted anyone who questioned whether there was over-counting going on: “The problem is you got some people out there who are fanning these conspiracy claims from the planet Pluto,” Inslee said, according to KOMO-TV. “And it’s just disgusting what they’re trying to say of all these crazy deep-state malarkey.”
This is such “deep-state malarkey” that jurisdictions now revising their COVID death toll downward include [checks notes] two famously liberal Bay Area counties in California, one home to Berkeley and the other the center of Silicon Valley.
These stories were out there if you looked — individuals who died of gunshot wounds or motorcycle accidents that were counted as COVID victims. If you raised questions, however, you were branded a conspiracy theorist.
How the CDC inflated the covid-19 death count
CDC Admits to Inflating COVID Death Count
by Ty & Charlene Bollinger, Seemorerocks [blog], Sept. 1, 2020
The CDC recently released data showing that 94% of reported COVID-19 deaths may have been falsely reported. According to recent data from the government agency, only 6% of deaths attributed to COVID-19 can actually be attributed to the virus.
We’ve been told that drastic measures that have destroyed small businesses, put millions out of work, and officially revoked religious freedoms are necessary. We’ve been told that this virus has killed over 180 THOUSAND Americans since March. But what if that number was lower? What if 94% of the 180,000 fatalities attributed to the disease were lies?
According to the newly released CDC data, only 10,800 of those 180,000 can truly be attributed to the virus. The “pandemic” that has crippled our economy and society is a lie. The CDC and our politicians know it.
Only 6% of COVID-19 deaths can actually be attributed to the virus itself.
Our government has lied to us, and that lie has been catastrophic. The rise in the number of unemployed workers due to COVID-19 is substantially greater than the increase due to the Great Recession. Substance abuse has increased. Mental health issues have increased. Suicides have increased.
In fact, a survey last month found that at least 40% of adults in the U.S are struggling with mental illness or drug abuse. In fact, 11% of those surveyed said that they have “seriously considered suicide” since the outbreak.
Domestic abuse is up. Defaults on loans and mortgages are up. Child abuse is up. Abuse of people with special needs is up. Americans are depressed, poor, isolated, and hopeless. And it’s exclusively due to false data and media lies.
Everything You Know About COVID-19 Is A Lie
We’ve been told that COVID-19 is lethal. That it has killed nearly 200,000 Americans. That masks, social distancing, and the sudden shutdown of our economy are the only reason more haven’t died. But there’s a big difference between dying FROM the virus and dying WITH the virus. [the issue of co-morbidity]
According to the CDC, only 6% of coronavirus deaths can be confirmed as coronavirus deaths. “For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death,” they say. (You can look at the official data here.)
So, for over 95% of reported deaths (the same deaths that have led to economic collapse and significant loss of life), there were almost 3 additional causes of death. People who have drowned, people with late-stage cancer, people involved in traffic collisions… ALL of these people we classified as COVID-19 deaths simply because they tested positive.
There are 3 fundamental truths that you need to understand:
- Reporting is Faulty
- Tests Are Faulty
- Most Patients Are Not Contagious
Reporting is Faulty
That’s really the headline here. 94% of reported fatalities had other causes of death. But it gets worse. Reliable data and information are essential to making decisions. You can’t plan a dinner party if you don’t know what’s on the menu or how many guests will attend. You can’t order parts to fix your car if you haven’t diagnosed the problem.
And you can’t effectively implement drastic, global, “protective” protocols if you don’t yet understand the extent of the virus.
And yet, that’s exactly what’s been happening. Scarce and unreliable data haven’t stopped entire nations from issuing “stay at home” orders and forcibly closing millions of businesses. A massive amount of the U.S. population is now out of work and quarantined in their homes despite virtually no reliable data to support it.
Professor John Ioannidis (an expert in medicine, epidemiology, population health, biomedical data science, and statistics) may have summed it up best:
“The data collected so far on how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable. Given the limited testing to date, some deaths and probably the vast majority of infections due to SARS-CoV-2 are being missed. We don’t know if we are failing to capture infections by a factor of three or 300… This evidence fiasco creates tremendous uncertainty about the risk of dying from COVID-19. Reported case fatality rates, like the official 3.4% rate from the World Health Organization, cause horror — and are meaningless. Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. As most health systems have limited testing capacity, selection bias may even worsen in the near future.”
“The numbers are almost meaningless,” says Steve Goodman, a professor of epidemiology at Stanford University. There’s a huge reservoir of people who have mild cases, and would not likely seek testing, he says. The rate of increase in positive results reflects a mixed-up combination of increased testing rates and spread of the virus.
It’s also worth mentioning that many COVID-19 cases are diagnosed without tests. If a person dies with COVID symptoms (which are common among MANY diseases), doctors may diagnose them without ever testing.
If a person dies and tests positive for the virus, they’re added to the body count. But that’s scientifically irresponsible at best and criminally negligent at the worst. In Italy, New York, and other parts of the world where the outbreak has been most severe, the likelihood that many of these fatalities weren’t caused by the virus is high.
We know that COVID-19 is much worse for the older population. Those aged 0-64 make up about 84% of the U.S. population. But they only account for a little over half of the documented hospitalizations and about 20% of all deaths. Meanwhile, those aged 65-84 make up a little over 14% of the population but account for 36% of hospitalizations and 46% of the deaths. Those 85+ comprise only 2% of our population, yet they account for 9% of hospitalizations and a whopping 34% of deaths!
We know that this disease disproportionately affects the elderly. It also disproportionately affects those with compromised immune systems. But so does almost every disease known to man. Did you know that the median life expectancy in the U.S. is about 78 years? The sad truth is that people die every day… and older people die more often.
If an elderly person comes in with health issues, passes away, and is diagnosed with the virus, they are added to the number of people killed by COVID-19, even if they had underlying conditions.
To put that into perspective, there have been reports of people around the country dying from car accidents, drowning, or premature birth who have been counted among the coronavirus victims. But the testing has been notoriously unreliable, and the causation simply isn’t there. Just last month, it was confirmed that a positive test is no longer required to attribute a fatality to the virus.
Tests Are Faulty
The U.S. government has mismanaged Covid testing so badly that we were both the slowest and the most inaccurate when it comes to COVID testing. Rather than allow the free market to create testing kits, the government assigned the task to the CDC, who rolled out an inaccurate test, contaminated thousands of samples, and refused to test a patient in Northern California who turned out to be the first probable COVID19 cases.
The more data and information we have, the more we can make informed decisions. In this case, bad and missing data resulted in catastrophically terrible decisions. And testing today is still wildly inaccurate.
Earlier this month, shortly before Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was due to meet President Donald Trump at a Cleveland airport, the governor tested positive on a rapid antigen test for the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that causes the disease COVID-19.
Two follow-up tests, using a more accurate polymerase chain reaction, or PCR test, showed the governor didn’t have the virus. This kind of false positive with an antigen test isn’t an isolated incident.
Dozens of people who took a rapid SARS-CoV-2 test developed by biotech company Quidel at a Manchester, Vermont, clinic in July were told they had the virus. Subsequent PCR tests run by the state’s Department of Health found that only 4 out of those 65 were positive.
Testing is inaccurate. Patients are sometimes diagnosed without being tested. There are likely millions of infected people with no symptoms. And the death toll is a flat-out lie.
And even when tests are accurate, they can still be misleading.
Most Patients Are Not Contagious
The New York Times published a story Saturday which looked at the accuracy of the most popular coronavirus tests currently in use. It found that the tests are being run in such a way that they are far too sensitive. The Times estimates that up to 90% of the people who receive a positive test are carrying so little virus that they probably aren’t contagious; only about 10% would need to consider isolating themselves.
The standard tests are diagnosing huge numbers of people who may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus. We’ve known for months (based on the available data) that the coronavirus does not act like normal cough and cold viruses that we often catch from children. In a surprise to pediatricians, teachers and parents alike, the virus behaves the opposite of what we are used to. Children and adolescents do not seem to get sick with Covid-19 as frequently as adults. And children, especially elementary school-age children, do not seem to transmit it effectively to one another, nor to adults.
This has been documented in countries around the world, including Greece, Switzerland and Australia. Even when schools are open, most children who get ill are found to have been infected by someone in their household, not from a school contact.
According to the CDC’s own data, people aged 0-24 account for 0.2% of documented COVID-19 deaths. And remember – only 6% of those are actually confirmed!
And since the vast majority of infections seem to be asymptomatic, there is an extremely high likelihood that there are thousands – even millions – of infected Americans who have not been tested or diagnosed.
So the tests are bad, the data is bad, and most people probably aren’t even carriers. But there’s one more lie we need to address before we move on. And it involves the fundamental rhetoric of “flattening the curve.”
[NB – Since this article was written, another study said that 146 million Americans were immune to Covid-19, which means they had it at some people. If that’s true, most did not know they had it, as the symptoms were mild. I don’t know if that’s true or if the instances of it are rarer. It’s hard to say because are no outward signs that one has it.]
Hospitals Are Not Overwhelmed
Despite the narrative you may have heard from the mainstream media, our health system (while riddled with flaws), was prepared for an event like this. While the federal government’s pandemic preparedness was sorely lacking, the fact is America’s system of private medicine has left us far better positioned for today’s crisis than other nations.
As Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, explained in an interview, here in the United States, “we’re going to have a better experience [with COVID-19] than a lot of other countries because of how good our system is at delivering critical care.”
Gottlieb is right. The United States has 20 to 30 intensive care unit beds for every 100,000 people, the most per capita of any country in the world. That is at least 75% more than in the United Kingdom, where the government-run National Health Service had a meager 5,900 ventilators before the pandemic struck.
Here’s some quick math:
- Ignoring false positives and misdiagnoses, the U.S. has seen 6,212,174 cases.
- The official number of deaths due to COVID currently stands at 187,742
- The U.S. population is about 331,002,651
- This means that the percentage of the population diagnosed with the virus is about 1.9%
- The WHO estimates that around 20% of infected patients will require hospitalization
- This means that the number of hospitalized patient in the U.S. is roughly 1,242,434
- About 0.37% of the U.S. population needed hospitalization
- The vast majority (about 75%) of hospitalized patients do not require intensive care
- This means that about 0.09% of the U.S. population required intensive care
- That figure amounts to 9 in every 10,000
And while that number may seem high at first, remember that the CDC confirmed that 94% of reported covid deaths accompanied other morbidity factors. Cancer patients, people injured in car accidents, drowning victims, and people with existing heart or respiratory disease were routinely counted among the death toll for the virus.
Admittedly, the virus may well have exacerbated some preexisting conditions. It would be unfair to claim that 94% percent of cases weren’t caused – at least in part – by the virus. But the reality is that people go to the hospital all the time.
Approximately 4 million patients are admitted to the ICU each year. Given that 94% of patients had other illnesses or injuries, it may well be that the number of ICU admissions for COVID-19 is around 12,424. That number, while serious for patients and their families, barely registers against the 4 million ICU admissions normally seen each year.
And as usual, the U.S. government found a way to squander millions of dollars responding to a threat that never really existed. Early this spring, the Army Corps of Engineers mobilized in the U.S., hiring private contractors to build emergency field hospitals around the country.
The endeavor cost more than $660 million, according to an NPR analysis of federal spending records. But nearly four months into the pandemic, most of these facilities haven’t treated a single patient. In fact, of the 13,727 beds made available, only 1,177 patients were seen.
The majority of these field hospitals saw exactly 0 patients. That’s $560,747.66 per patient. But squandering money on unnecessary field hospitals is not the only mistake the government made in response to the virus.
Safety Measures Don’t Work
In a knee-jerk response fueled by faulty data (or, in many cases, no data at all), the U.S. government shut down businesses and began mandating mask use. Do masks work? The CDC says that even simple face coverings are better than nothing in order to “slow the spread” and limit the transmission of coronavirus.
Let’s go over the FACTS about masks and COVID-19.
Here are 12 FACTS that we KNOW…
- No studies have been done to demonstrate that either a cloth mask or the N95 mask has any effect on transmission of COVID-19. As a matter of fact, research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine at the first of April indicated that “both surgical and cotton masks seem to be ineffective in preventing the dissemination of SARS–CoV-2 from the coughs of patients with COVID-19.”
- In a February 2020 meta-analysis of six randomized controlled trials involving 9,171 patients, there were no statistically significant differences in preventing influenza or viral infections using N95 respirators and surgical masks.
- A May 2020 study involving 159 healthcare workers aged 21 to 35 years of age found that 81% developed headaches from wearing a face mask.
- In a 2008 study of surgical masks worn by 53 surgeons, researchers found that the mask reduced the blood oxygen levels significantly, creating a condition known as “hypoxia.” (
- A 2015 study indicated that hypoxia inhibits T-lymphocytes (the main immune cells used to fight viral infections) by increasing the level of a compound called hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1). In other words, wearing a mask, which has been shown to cause hypoxia, may actually set the stage for contracting COVID-19 and make the consequences much worse.
- Hypoxia promotes inflammation which can promote the growth, invasion and spread of cancers. Hypoxia is also a significant factor in atherosclerosis, thus it increases the risk of stroke and heart attack.
- The WARNING on the box of surgical masks states clearly “THIS PRODUCT WILL NOT PROVIDE ANY PROTECTION AGAINST COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) OR OTHER VIRUSES OR CONTAMINANTS.”
- Those who wear masks are constantly rebreathing the viruses, raising the concentration of the virus in the lungs and the nasal passages. By wearing a mask, the exhaled viruses will not be able to escape and will concentrate in the nasal passages, enter the olfactory nerves and can travel into the brain.
- Anthony Fauci, head of the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), did an interview on 60 Minutes where he said, “People shouldn’t be walking around wearing masks.”
- The World Health Organization says that there is no need for healthy people to wear face masks. They recommend that healthy people only wear masks when taking care of someone infected with COVID-19.
- Surgeon General Jerome Adams advised against the general public wearing face masks, saying they were “not proven to be effective” in preventing people from contracting COVID-19.
- Although the CDC recommends wearing masks, they admitted that they do not have data to confirm that wearing a mask reduces the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.
The World Health Organization’s guidance about when to wear a face mask may seem confusing to Americans, who have been advised by the CDC to wear cloth face masks in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
“If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with COVID-19,” the WHO guidelines read. And at first, the CDC agreed. After months of maintaining that healthy people didn’t need to wear masks in public to prevent the coronavirus, the country’s top public health officials reversed their position, recommending that everyone wear a face mask in public places where social distancing is difficult.
It’s a stark change from the early weeks of the outbreak, when the CDC said only two groups of people needed to wear them: people who were showing symptoms and people who were taking care of someone who was sick.
And the fallout of shutting down our economy will be far more severe than the virus itself.
Economy and Public Health
One of the most common attacks we’ve heard on those who support reopening our economy and salvaging our liberties is that we care more about the economy than human life. But the truth is that the two are invariably intertwined.
The more damage we do to our society and economy, the higher the death toll will rise. In fact, there will almost certainly be more loss of life from the reaction to coronavirus than the disease itself. Reuters summarized a few of them:
Trapped at home with their abusers, some domestic violence victims are already experiencing more frequent and extreme violence, said Katie Ray-Jones, the chief executive officer of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Domestic violence programs across the country have cited increases in calls for help, news accounts reported – from Cincinnati to Nashville, Portland, Salt Lake City and statewide in Virginia and Arizona. The YWCA of Northern New Jersey, in another example, told Reuters its domestic violence calls have risen up to 24%.
“There are special populations that are going to have impacts that go way beyond COVID-19,” said Ray-Jones, citing domestic violence victims as one.
Students, parents, and teachers all face challenges adjusting to remote learning, as schools nationwide have been closed and online learning has begun.
Some experts are concerned that students at home, especially those living in unstable environments or poverty, will miss more assignments. High school students who miss at least three days a month are seven times more likely to drop out before graduating and, as a result, live nine years less than their peers, according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report.
Among the most vulnerable: the more than 6 million special education students across the United States. Without rigorous schooling and therapy, these students face a lifetime of challenges.
Special needs students “benefit the most from highly structured and customized special education,” said Sharon Vaughn, executive director of the The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at the University of Texas. “This means that they are the group that are most likely to be significantly impacted by not attending school both in the short and long term.”
In New Jersey, Matawan’s Megan Gutierrez has been overwhelmed with teaching and therapy duties for her two nonverbal autistic sons, eight and 10. She’s worried the boys, who normally work with a team of therapists and teachers, will regress. “For me, keeping those communications skills is huge, because if they don’t, that can lead to behavioral issues where they get frustrated because they can’t communicate,” Gutierrez said.
In Europe and the United States, suicide rates rise about 1% for every one percentage point increase in unemployment, according to research published by lead author Aaron Reeves from Oxford University. During the last recession, when the unemployment in the United States peaked at 10%, the suicide rate jumped, resulting in 4,750 more deaths. If the unemployment rate increases to 20%, the toll could well rise.
“Sadly, I think there is a good chance we could see twice as many suicides over the next 24 months than we saw during the early part of the last recession,” Reeves told Reuters. That would be about 20,000 additional dead by suicide in the United States and Europe.
Less than three weeks after extreme suppression measures began in the United States, unemployment claims rose by nearly 10 million. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned the rate could reach 20% and Federal Reserve economists predicted as high as 32%. Europe faces similarly dire forecasts.
Some researchers caution that suicide rates might not spike so high. The conventional wisdom is that more people will kill themselves amid skyrocketing unemployment, but communities could rally around a national effort to defeat COVID-19 and the rates may not rise, said Anne Case, who researches health economics at Princeton University. “Suicide is hard to predict even in the absence of a crisis of Biblical proportions,” Case said.
This week, the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, relaxed its strict social isolation policies after the apparent suicides of two cadet seniors in late March, The Gazette, a Colorado Springs newspaper, reported. While juniors, sophomores and freshmen had been sent home, the college seniors were kept isolated in dorms, and some had complained of a prison-like setting. Now, the seniors will be able to leave campus for drive-thru food and congregate in small groups per state guidelines.
Public Health Crippled
Local health departments run programs that treat chronic diseases such as diabetes. They also help prevent childhood lead poisoning and stem the spread of the flu, tuberculosis and rabies. A severe loss of property and sales tax revenue following a wave of business failures will likely cripple these health departments, said Adriane Casalotti, chief of government affairs with the National Association of County and City Health Officials, a nonprofit focused on public health.
After the 2008 recession, local health departments in the U.S. lost 23,000 positions as more than half experienced budget cuts. While it’s become popular to warn against placing economic concerns over health, Casalotti said that, on the front lines of public health, the two are inexorably linked. “What are you going to do when you have no tax base to pull from?” she asked.
Carol Moehrle, director of a public health department that serves five counties in northern Idaho, said her office lost about 40 of its 90 employees amid the last recession. The department had to cut a family planning program that provided birth control to women below the poverty line and a program that tested for and treated sexually transmitted diseases. She worries a depression will cause more harm.
“I honestly don’t think we could be much leaner and still be viable, which is a scary thing to think about,” Moehrle said.
Rises in unemployment during large recessions can set in motion a domino effect of reduced income, additional stress and unhealthy lifestyles. Those setbacks in income and health often mean people die earlier, said Till von Wachter, a University of California Los Angeles professor who researches the impact of job loss. Von Wachter said his research of past surges in unemployment suggests displaced workers could lose, on average, a year and a half of lifespan. If the jobless rate rises to 20%, this could translate into 48 million years of lost human life.
Von Wachter cites measures he believes could mitigate the effects of unemployment. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act approved by the White House last week includes emergency loans to businesses and a short-time compensation program that could encourage employers to keep employees on the payroll.
Young People Suffer
Young adults entering the job market during the coronavirus suppression may pay an especially high price over the long term. First-time job hunters seeking work during periods of high unemployment live shorter and unhealthier lives, research shows. An extended freeze of the economy could shorten the lifespan of 6.4 million Americans entering the job market by an average of about two years, said Hannes Schwandt, a health economics researcher at Northwestern University, who conducted the study with von Wachter. This would be 12.8 million years of life lost.
Thousands of college graduates will enter a job market at a time global business is frozen. Jason Gustave, a senior at William Paterson University in New Jersey who will be the first in his family to graduate from college, had a job in physical therapy lined up. Now his licensure exam is postponed and the earliest he could start work is September.
“It all depends on where the economy goes,” he said. “Is there a position still available?”
Even the U.N., which has vigorously supported the draconian suspension of industry, society, and freedom, says that “hundreds of thousands of children could die this year due to the global economic downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic and tens of millions more could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis”
Every day that our country remains closed, more people around the world will die. And that fatal decision has been made by a few public servants who would fancy themselves omnipotent overlords.
And as Americans suffer, The government and the extremely wealthy are taking advantage.
The Elite Class is Scamming Us
The powers that be – billionaires, the tech and pharmaceutical industries, and governments around the world – have used fear as a means to seize the very freedoms that define our society. Many of us are at the mercy of these authorities. Businesses are failing, citizens are hurtling towards financial ruin, and the rights enshrined in the constitution have been stripped.
Practicing safe habits as a virus spreads is important. Supporting your immune system, practicing proper hygiene, and taking care of those most vulnerable among us is of paramount importance. But the oppressive measures taken against us will cause far more damage than this virus ever could.
Yes, there are ways to boost your immune system. Yes, you should absolutely practice proper hygiene and responsible social distancing to protect those most vulnerable to disease. And yes, this is a very real disease that will claim some lives.
But the government has quietly stripped us of our freedoms, and they will start demanding concessions before they return them. Increased taxes. Bailouts for mega-corporations. New vaccine requirements. Medical tracking and registration. Communist-era social surveillance. If we comply with their demands in exchange for our liberty, we are acknowledging that our liberty is subject to the whims of a few self-important government officials and the corrupt corporations that support them.
The inevitable conclusion to this chapter of our history will be a bargain: comply with government orders and they will return to you your freedom. But conditional freedom is no freedom at all. And it’s time we sent that message loud and clear.
The $2 trillion stimulus package approved by the government is intended to help ease some of the strain the country is feeling, but a closer look under the hood reveals an unsatisfactory distribution of funds for a potentially cataclysmic crisis.
Here is a quick breakdown:
- Individuals: A direct deposit of around $1,000 in cash into the average American’s bank account.
- Big Business: Airlines are expected to be the largest recipient of this pie with about ~15% of this chunk.
- Small Business: $10 million loans to small businesses to help make rent or make payroll.
- Public and Health Services: $100 billion going to healthcare providers allotted to help them make up for lost revenue coming in from elective surgery.
Red flags run through the entire stimulus. Any cash deposit is always welcome, but $1,000 is not going to sustain most Americans through to the other end of the economic recovery. Why are airlines the largest recipients of the Big Business pool of money?
Even now, as Congress is attempting to pass a new stimulus bill, the two parties are in a deadlock. Both sides are using this bill to force their own agendas, unrelated to the current economic crisis. A crisis they caused in the first place.
Americans are literally being held hostage and used as bargaining chips in political showdown between the two parties.
As it turns out, all of this is the result of faulty data and lies. And artificially inflated statistics are responsible for the economic and social collapse we’re currently experiencing. Enough is enough.
Politicians are supposed to work for us. They should use our tax dollars sparingly and responsibly, and they should protect our constitutional rights instead of stripping them away. Our governments have crossed a line that they cannot uncross. They have taken freedom hostage. And soon, they will offer vaccines and other concessions as the terms for its release. It is of paramount importance that we do not accept their terms.